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    Microsoft denies handing over Skype encryption codes to FSB

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    Microsoft has denied rumors that the company was planning to hand over Skype encryption algorithms to Russia's Security Service (FSB), the head of Microsoft's PR department, Marina Levina, said on Wednesday.

    Microsoft has denied rumors that the company was planning to hand over Skype encryption algorithms to Russia's Security Service (FSB), the head of Microsoft's PR department, Marina Levina, said on Wednesday.

    "The matter was not about the encryption algorythms...in terms of Microsoft's cooperation with the FSB, the company gives the initial codes of its products to the FSB for inspection. In the future, Skype may also be examined," Levina said.

    Such inspections are necessary for detecting the software's "hidden possibilities" such as leaking the encrypted information to a distance server owned by a third party, the marketing director of SecurIT, Alexander Kovalyov, said.

    In April, the FSB caused alarm among Russia's estimated 60 million internet users by demanding access to internet communication services like Gmail and Skype.

    In a move reminiscent of Soviet style repression, the FSB claimed the "uncontrolled use of these services could lead to a large-scale threat to Russian security."

    Later, Russian Communications Minister Igor Shchegolev ruled out the government's plans on banning Skype, gmail or hotmail.

    MOSCOW, June 8 (RIA Novosti) 

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